This summer we had three productions of Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake to chose from. The English National Ballet version, an Australian version and the Bolshoi Academy’s one. I chose the third option and booked tickets early when I had a chance to purchase some pre sale tickets through ‘The Times’ offer. The Bolshoi ballet are performing 5 different shows and I chose this as I have never seen Swan Lake before. I have seen three different versions of Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker and the English National Ballet one was the best. The Bolshoi ballet is one of the oldest and best ballet companies in the world.
Everyone normally dresses up to go to the theatre and I had warned Murali about this. He still turned up in his work clothes, which I was prepared to turn a blind eye to. The show was starting at 730 and finishing at 1000 with a 25 minute break in between. So we decided to have dinner before the show and went to an Italian restaurant near the ‘Royal opera house’ in Covent Garden. The guy at the desk made fun of us as we hadn’t made any table reservations. There were plenty of spaces and I think he was just joking. We had just over an hour for dinner and I mentioned this to our waitress who helped to get the orders through quickly. Murali splashed the sauce from his starter straight on to his shirt with his first mouthful. There was no point in getting annoyed, the harm was done. I told him that I was going to pretend that I was not with him when we got to the theatre.
We finished dinner before 7 and only had to cross the road to get to the theatre. While waiting for the doors to the stalls to open, Murali says ‘I think I have seen this show before’ and I said ‘no you haven’t’ and he insisted. I said the only show that he has seen without me was when he went to Stratford upon Avon with a neurosurgeon once, who took them all to watch a show. He goes ‘that must be it’ and I say ‘not really, Shakespeare doesn’t do ballet’. I give up. Anyway this gives me something to laugh about, by which time the doors open.
The show was just pure magic. The dancers with their nimble feet and light as a feather movements dancing along to the breathtaking music was just something out of this world. The court jester also stole the show with his acrobatic ballet acts. I only wished that I had booked to see more of the other Bolshoi ballet shows when I had the chance.